Monday, March 10, 2008

Journey across the desert

Chief Jibonoh's trip across the desert for FADE has just begun. Pasted below is an email I just received from Ebun Olatoye, one of the people accompanying him on the voyage:

Free Internet connection only at the lobby, the air conditioners make the space toasty warm at the Sheraton.

Actually I take that back because it's quite nice save for the above mentioned inconveniences. After this it's going to be motels and hostels for us, so say a prayer for us.

The Nigerian end of the border went seamlessly. Jibunoh had sent someone ahead of us to process our papers so we only spent about twenty minutes there which was a shock.

The Benin end was a test of even Chief. Js patience. They checked our passports, and asked to view the holders, then queried us some more about our trip. They asked how many women we had in the group and someone said three(adding Adaure Achumba from Silverbird) and the guy says; "one for each man, yes". Listen, I don't even have any words unless they were daggers. Then we had to go through at least five more arbitraty barriers of men who are eager with a zeal that is dissolved with currencies. Any currencies, with the cede the least preferred.

I am so relieved that we're on the road though. My new friend Ernest Coovi Adjovi (KORA AWARDS) sorted us out very nicely. He booked our rooms at the 'Sheraton' and got us a 50% discount! He also informed the Minister for Health of our impending arrival and the Minister met us at the pool side of our Hotel with press.

I am so embarrassed that my French is lousy otherwise I would have/ should have interpreted. Anyway, "The Honorable Minister" as Captain Jibunoh insisted on calling him, was kind enough to interprete Jibunoh's eloquent speech to the Press.

We leave for Ghana tomorrow at 11a.m and we'll be spending only one night in my beloved Accra. We need to be in Dakar by March 16th so we can't faff about too much.

That's me for now. Thanks for your calls, text messages and all your support.

Please visit my blog for photos etc and other less personal information.


Anonymous,  11:49 pm  

I had read of Chief Jibunoh's exploits in the desert a few years ago and was really impressed that a Nigerian took the initiative to embark on an expedition like this.

I really wish the group luck on this sojourn but my concern is what effect is this going to have on the nigerian populace which is not bothered about issues affecting the environment especially global warming.

But for what its worth goodluck and godspeed.

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